South Korea's Moon makes second justice minister pick after first falls foul

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 27, 2017 12:54 AM

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday made a second attempt at appointing a justice minister after his earlier choice withdrew over questions about ethics and views on women.

A month-and-a-half after winning a snap election, Moon is still trying to form his cabinet.

Whoever fills the justice minister's post will have a key role overseeing Moon's promise of legal reforms following the impeachment of his predecessor, Park Geun-hye, over a corruption scandal.

Moon has vowed to reform the country's prosecutors' office by making it more independent from politics.

His nomination of Park Sang-ki, a legal scholar, came 11 days after the earlier candidate, Ahn Kyong-whan, withdrew over controversies that when he was a young man he had forged the seal of a woman he was dating on a marriage license application.

Nominees for cabinet posts appear before parliamentary panels, which routinely scrutinize their ethics, though their appointment does not require parliamentary approval.

Several of Moon's picks, including the defense and unification ministers, have yet to be formally appointed, even as the country faces the challenge of stopping North Korea's defiant pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Moon travels to Washington on Wednesday for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which is expected to focus on reaffirming their countries' alliance and how best to respond to the North's weapons program.

(Reporting by Haejin Choi; Editing by Jack Kim & Simon Cameron-Moore)